- The Pentagon leak suspect allegedly boasted on social media that he was untraceable and had thought of everything.
- But FBI investigators found him by asking Discord for the subscriber info connected to his username.
- Teixeira is suspected of leaking hundreds of classified documents and faces 25 years in prison.
Suspected Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira bragged online that he’d thought of everything and that no one would link the leak of hundreds of classified military intelligence documents to him, an FBI investigator revealed in newly released court documents. But he was caught easily and now faces over two decades in prison.
Teixeira, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman who had top secret clearance and served in an intelligence wing, is suspected of purposefully leaking documents containing highly sensitive military secrets and intelligence on the war in Ukraine, US allies and adversaries, and more, on the social media platform Discord.
In new court documents filed late Wednesday evening, an FBI investigator, special agent Luke Church, revealed a number of incriminating text exchanges between Teixeira and other users on the platform.
In one exchange on November 2022, an unidentified user, apparently referencing the leaked materials, asked, “isn’t that shit classified?” Teixeira responded “everything that ive been telling u guys up to this point has been lol.”
The other user then says, “You rly trust everyone here then.”
And, according to the messages presented by the FBI investigator, Teixeira responded with a series of messages arguing that he is untraceable, saying things like “i have plausible deniability and non of them know anything incriminating about me,” “no one has a point of contact to my work,” “no one knows where i work,” “and no one knows how to identify me,” and finally, “dw ive thought of that.”
But Teixeira was not quite as untraceable as he thought — the FBI investigator says in his report that he tracked down Teixeira’s full name and billing address by asking the social media platform for the subscriber information associated with Teixeira’s username.
According to a criminal complaint, this happened around April 12 — just a few days after the leaks first became public knowledge on April 6, highlighting how quickly officials were able to find Teixeira.
Teixeira was arrested on April 13 at his home in southeastern Massachusetts, and was charged the next day with the unauthorized retention and transmission of national defense information and unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. He now faces up to 25 years in prison, though it could be more. Insider reached out to Teixeira’s attorneys for comment on the allegations against him but did not receive a response.
Prosecutors argued in the court documents that Teixeira should remain behind bars — which a judge will decide on later Thursday — because he still poses a risk to US national security and could even flee the country. They also suggest that Teixeira tried to deceive and obstruct the government’s efforts to uncover the full scope of the leaks by smashing his Xbox console, laptop, and a tablet.
The trove of leaked top secret Pentagon documents circulated around social media for months before becoming the center of a federal investigation earlier in April. The documents, dozens of which were obtained and reviewed by Insider, contain highly sensitive information about US allies and adversaries, as well as Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
Because the documents detail the depths of US intelligence gathering, their public disclosure triggered significant alarm in Washington and within foreign governments whose domestic affairs were among the leaked information.
“The damage the Defendant has already caused to the US national security is immense,” prosecutors wrote in the new court documents.